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Minnesota Deer Hunters Embrace Crossbows

a hunter with his crossbow in a treestand

Crossbow Regulations for Minnesotan Deer and Turkey Hunting have changed recently. As a result, crossbow sales have gone up almost 500%.

The growing fondness for crossbow hunting in Minnesota isn’t just anecdotal. The numbers speak for themselves.

Following the implementation of new regulations, a whopping 790 deer were harvested using crossbows in the fall season of 2023.

This figure accounts for an impressive 40% of the total archery harvest.

Key Points

New Regulation

Law change passed in the 2023 legislative session. Archery deer license holders can possess and take deer & turkey with a crossbow.

Crossbow Sales

From last year to this year, and since the law went into effect, crossbow sales have gone up nearly 500%


According to official sources, 790 deer were taken with a crossbow, which is running about 40 percent of the total MN archery harvest fall season of 2023.


A report on expanded crossbow use is due to the state Legislature in 2025. It will be interesting to see how the turkey season is going to unfold.

“The new law expands the use of crossbows, which previously were allowed for some hunters with a permit, who were 60 or older during archery deer or turkey seasons, or during previous firearms seasons for deer or turkeys. Crossbows were already allowed for all hunters during the fall wild turkey and bear seasons. Rough fish may be taken with a crossbow during the bowfishing season.

Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Crossbow Hunting: A Balance of Regulations and Safety

Minnesota’s regulations stipulate that crossbow hunters must be at least 14 years old and complete a hunter education course to hunt deer legally.

These rules ensure that hunters are well-prepared and knowledgeable about their equipment and hunting practices.

Safety is paramount in crossbow hunting.

Proper handling, regular maintenance, appropriate arrows, accurate sighting, and keen awareness of your surroundings are key to a safe and successful hunt.

read.. new crossbows 2024

The Conservation Impact

The rise in crossbow hunting has significantly impacted deer population management, particularly in areas struggling with overpopulation.

As more hunters take up crossbows, participation in deer management programs has increased, helping maintain a balanced ecosystem.

The revenue generated from crossbow licenses and equipment sales is reinvested into conservation efforts.

This cycle illustrates the harmonious relationship between hunting and nature preservation.

Monitoring and Deer Hunter Surveys

To ensure the sustainable growth of crossbow hunting, authorities have begun monitoring changes in deer harvest rates. This data will inform future management decisions, ensuring that hunting practices remain balanced and sustainable.

Crossbow Hunting Scene in Minnesota

The surge in Minnesota’s crossbow sales echoes the increased participation in this age-old sport.

The public’s growing acceptance of crossbow hunting is largely due to its perceived ease and the extended hunting season it offers.

The conservation impact of these efforts has been profound, providing an effective means to manage the state’s deer populations.

Moreover, the sport has nurtured a deeper appreciation for wildlife among participants, fostering a stronger connection with nature.

Due to the new hunting regulations the growth in crossbow hunting is set to continue, positively contributing to Minnesota’s hunting and conservation landscape.

It will be interesting to see how the next turkey season will unfold, considering the increasing popularity of crossbow hunting.

This shift could potentially lead to more hunters participating in the turkey season as well.

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